Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and Chicken Pasta Toss

Make the pesto ahead of time, and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2 cups)
Recipe from Cooking Light

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 423
  • Calories from fat: 26%
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated fat: 3g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 6.3g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.5g
  • Protein: 27.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 52.1g
  • Fiber: 3.6g
  • Cholesterol: 39mg
  • Iron: 3mg
  • Sodium: 360mg
  • Calcium: 203mg

Ingredients

  • Pesto:
  • 1 (7-ounce) jar oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves
  • 1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Pasta:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 (6-ounce) bag prewashed baby spinach
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated fat-free milk
  • 1 (3-ounce) package goat cheese, crumbled
  • 6 cups hot cooked cavatappi (about 4 cups uncooked pasta)

Preparation

  1. To prepare pesto, drain sun-dried tomatoes in a sieve over a bowl, reserving oil. Place 2 tablespoons reserved oil in a food processor. Place remaining oil in sun-dried tomato jar; reserve for another use. Coarsely chop 1/4 cup drained tomatoes; set aside. Place remaining drained tomatoes in food processor. Add basil, water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 garlic cloves to food processor; process until finely minced.
  2. To prepare pasta, heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan. Add minced garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add balsamic vinegar and baby spinach; cook for 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Stir in pesto and evaporated fat-free milk. Bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Add crumbled goat cheese; cook until cheese melts, stirring constantly. Return chicken to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Combine chicken mixture and pasta, tossing well to coat. Sprinkle with reserved 1/4 cup chopped drained tomatoes.
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